Publications and Reports

Included on this page are historical and current reports and publications for the Industrial Waste and Watershed Protection groups within the Environmental Compliance Division for the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP).

Pollution prevention documents and reports for these areas can be found below:

 •   Construction
 •  Copper
 •  Dioxins
 •  Facilities and businesses
 •  Homes (chimneys, pools, spas, fountains, photographic chemicals, repairs)
 •  Pesticide use (less-toxic resources and treatments)
 •  Commercial and Medical
 •  General Pollution Prevention

Annual reports listed below:

    Clean Bay Plan Annual Report (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
 •   Pretreatment Program Annual Report (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
 •  Stormwater Annual Report (2013)
 •  Long-Term Trash Load Reduction Plan (2014)

Other areas for information and publications listed below on this page
:

 •   Compliance and enforcement
 •  Source control / Industrial waste
 •  Technical memorandums
 •  Vehicle pollution prevention
 •  School programs

Forms, applications and permits can be found on the "Forms / Permits" page.
Copies may be made of any document for personal use. We ask that you obtain permission first for distribution of any document in part or in whole by calling the RWQCP at 650-329-2598.
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2014
Artificial Turf
Information on artificial turf
Factsheet that addresses some of the concerns about chemical emissions from artificial turf
Revision Date: 6/1/2009
Commercial and Medical Pollution Prevention Publications
Programs, Guidelines and Fact Sheets for Commercial and Medical Businesses
Includes background and best management practices overview. Call 650-329-2598 for a copy of the "Best Management Practices for Pottery Facilities."
Revision Date: 1/1/1997
Reducing Copper Discharges to San Francisco Bay from Circuit Board and Metal Finishing Shops. How to order a 52-minute Video Created By Waste-Not Video Productions™ for The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Reasonable Control Measures Fact Sheet
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
"Don't Flush Mercury Down the Drain" poster for dental offices
Revision Date: 7/1/2002
The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plan (RWQCP) is concerned about potential dry cleaning waste discharges to the sewer system, and has instituted an educational program to ensure that dry cleaning solvent is not discharged to the sewer or storm drain system.
Revision Date: 6/14/1995
This program involves educating facilities on Best Management Practices (BMPs) and issuing permits to shops that discharge metal-bearing waste to the sanitary sewer.
Revision Date: 3/1/1999
Wastewater treatment systems for vehicle service facilities machine shops other small shops
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This white paper has been prepared to initiate a regional dialogue regarding pharmaceutical disposal to the sewer system. It provides an overview of research on pharmaceuticals in the environment and potential actions for consideration during that regional dialogue.
Revision Date: 2/1/2005
Wastewater discharged from hospitals and medical facilities contains relatively low concentrations of pollutants. However, the mass contribution for some pollutants can be significant due to the large flows from such facilities.
Revision Date: 3/1/1999
The RWQCP has reviewed many of the activities at the hospitals within its service area. By evaluating the waste generating activities and the waste management practices at these facilities, the following Best Management Practices (BMPs) have been developed.
Revision Date: 9/1/1994
This report is an account of a study performed of water and wastewater systems at Stanford University Medical Center.
Revision Date: 12/1/1995
Even though water used in your home is treated before it is discharged into the Bay, modern treatment facilities are not designed to remove medications.
Revision Date: 4/1/2004
Getting Mercury out of Healthcare Facilities...
Revision Date: 9/1/2000
Contact one of the businesses on our list of "recognized" mobile cleaners
Revision Date: 11/1/2000
Mobile Cleaner's guidelines for outdoor cleaning projects
Revision Date: 6/4/2007
Over 75% of the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant’s (RWQCP’s) influent silver originates from some 350 relatively small commercial facilities and institutions including photo shops, printers, graphic artists, photographers, dentists, chiropractors, clinics and others.
Revision Date: 1/1/1998
The Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) has developed these guidelines for water quality protection in order to minimize discharge of metals and other potential pollutants from printers to both the sanitary sewer and storm drain systems.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Selenium is a toxic metal that is not completely removed from wastewater by existing sewage treatment plant technology.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Copper, a highly toxic metal, is present in significant amounts near the Regional Water Quality Control Plant’s (RWQCP’s) outfall in San Francisco Bay. Copper is especially poisonous in very small amounts to aquatic plants and animals such as shellfish in early life stages.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Reducing Pipe Corrosion Reduces Copper to the Bay Your skilled installation techniques can greatly reduce pipe corrosion and help protect the Bay
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Recent studies show that food handling facilities are one of the sources of releases of water pollutants to storm drains. Improper discharges of oil and grease, food particles, detergents, solvents, and other cleaning products into the storm drains can pose serious problems to our creeks and the Bay.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Grease-related overflows are costly to clean up, and may expose restaurant customers or employees, food service workers, and others to health risks, or threaten wildlife by going to local creeks and the Bay untreated.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Compliance and Enforcement
The Regional Water Quality Control Plant began accepting treated contaminated groundwater in late 1987. Typically, groundwater is from remediation sites contaminated by industrial solvents or leaking fuel tanks.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The City of Palo Alto instituted, on a pilot basis, a fee system for key toxic pollutants effective July 1, 1992.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Construction Pollution Prevention Publications
Stormwater pollution is a serious problem for wildlife dependent on our waterways and for the people who live near polluted streams or baylands. Construction sites are common sources of storm water pollution. Materials and wastes that blow or wash into a storm drain, gutter, or street have a direct impact on local creeks and the Bay.
Informational brochure on handling industrial hazardous waste when doing demolition work. Call (650) 329-2495 for copies.
Revision Date: 8/10/2013
How to keep sediments and contaminated groundwater out of the storm drain system and the sanitary sewer
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Soil excavation and grading operations loosen large amounts of soil that can flow or blow into storm drains when handled improperly.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Fresh concrete and cement-related mortars that wash into lakes, streams, or estuaries are toxic to fish and the aquatic environment.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Construction sites are common sources of storm water pollution. Materials and wastes that blow or wash into a storm drain, gutter, or street have a direct impact on local creeks and the Bay.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Many landscaping activities increase the likelihood that earth and garden chemicals will run off into the storm drains. Swimming pool water containing chlorine and copper based algaecides should never be discharged to storm drains.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
All paints, solvents, and adhesives contain chemicals that are harmful to wildlife in local creeks, San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Road paving, surfacing, and pavement removal happen right in the street, where there are numerous opportunities for asphalt, saw-cut slurry, or excavated material to illegally enter storm drains.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Poorly maintained vehicles and heavy equipment that leak fuel, oil, antifreeze or other fluids on the construction site are common sources of storm drain pollution.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Copper Pollution Prevention Publications
Commercial and residential sources make up a larger percentage of the total copper loading than ever before. Medical clinics, machine shops, laboratories, other industrial facilities, and residents are being asked to do their part by changing their practices.
The purpose of this report is to present the data and information the RWQCP has gathered to address copper control actions.
Revision Date: 6/4/2007
This report describes common architectural uses of copper, and then estimates how much of this copper corrodes and is released into the environment throughout the service life of a building. Best management practices are presented for reducing the amounts of these copper releases.
Revision Date: 8/25/2010
Approximately 71% of the copper discharged from the RWQCP comes from corrosion of copper pipes and cooling equipment in homes and businesses.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Because corrosion by far contributes the greatest amount of copper to the influent load, efforts to reduce copper discharges from corrosion could substantially reduce the observed copper levels.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Brochure on how to properly drain pools and spas, how to locate sewer cleanout for draining, using alternative to copper algaecides and tips about cleaning your pool.
Revision Date: 5/6/2014
Designers Are Part of the Solution. Plumbing engineers and system designers can significantly reduce pipe corrosion by making simple design adjustments.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Review a table of identified copper sources and related corrective actions
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Dioxins
Revision Date: 7/26/2007
The sources and conveyances of dioxins to the wastewater treatment plant were identified in Dioxins Source Identification (EIP, 1997). Using the sources identified and the recommended source reduction strategies in that report, a pollution prevention plan was developed for the large conveyances of dioxins to the RWQCP.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The primary conveyances through which dioxins flow to the Regional Water Quality Control Plant appear to be laundry graywater, storm water inflow, shower water, human waste, and toilet paper. Primary local sources of dioxins appear to be residential wood burning and motor vehicles, particularly diesel-fueled motor vehicles.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Facility Requirements and Best Practices
The facility operations involve hundreds of different activities, many of which have hidden environmental consequences. Nearly every facility contributes pollutants that find their way into the stormwater and wastewater systems.
Use this form for a quick assessment of water quality practices in your laboratory
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Description of cooling water additives and potential impacts to the sanitary sewer.
Revision Date: 9/1/2009
Factsheet on cooling water treatment and potential impacts to the sanitary sewer.
Revision Date: 9/1/2009
Modifying maintenance and facility management practices -- and requesting that your contracted service providers do the same -- will reduce the amount of pollutants flowing into the Bay.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Roof runoff in industrial areas can be a significant source of pollutants to stormwater. There are a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs) available to prevent rooftop pollution.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Zinc is often used in floor finishes because it increases durability, especially in sites where frequent cleanings are required. Wastewater resulting from stripping of zinc-containing floor finishes has been found to contain as much as 500 ppm zinc.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Use of certain floor waxes and finishers can result in zinc concentrations greater than the discharge limit of 2 mg/L
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
General Pollution Prevention Publications
Most people don’t realize that emptying oil and other pollutants into a gutter or storm drain contributes to pollution in our creeks and San Francisco Bay. The pollution prevention program works to regulate and educate residents and businesses through public participation, the keys to the success of environmental compliance programs.
Use the Bay Area Wastewater Treatment Agencies Phone List to find the agency that serves your location select your county. Look for the service area that contains your facility.
Revision Date: 6/4/2007
The Emily Renzel Wetlands Site Restoration was designed to expand and enhance the growth of pickleweed, which is the habitat for the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Programs for vehicle service facilities, printed circuit board manufacturers and metal finishers, and pools are representative examples of the pollution prevention activities conducted by the Regional Water Quality Control Plant
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Item No. 4 - Fairmeadow Neighborhood Single Story Overlay District
Revision Date: 1/7/2009
The Regional Water Quality Control Plant Pollution Prevention Program addresses the sewer and storm water discharges of about 100 major industrial facilities, more than 1,000 commercial businesses, about 200,000 area residents.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The plant provides the water free of charge to permitted operators of tank trucks, including landscapers and construction contractors.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
For three years (1995-1998), the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant collected influent and effluent concentration data for copper, nickel, and zinc on a weekly basis. The purpose of this document is to examine some of the factors that may influence these concentrations.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Water Pollution And Sustainability: Palo Alto’s History Of Response To New Challenges
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The use of recycled water from the Regional Water Quality Control Plant to the duck pond commenced in April 2004, at approximately 20 gallons per minute.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Palo Alto strives to implement a comprehensive water quality protection program covering both storm drain and sanitary sewer discharge issues. The comprehensive Urban Runoff Management Plan addresses these issues.
Revision Date: 6/4/2007
Brochure about the Water Reuse Program
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Home Pollution Prevention Publications
Pollution prevention begins at home. Mercury, copper, dioxins and other pollutants are found in the home. Learn how to protect yourself, your family, and the environment from household pollutants.
In response to regional concerns about dioxin emissions, the City of Palo Alto adopted a dioxin policy “to eliminate dioxin and its subsequent release to the environment”
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Informative brochure about maintaining and draining pools, spas, and fountains
Revision Date: 5/6/2014
Home Darkroom Users Drop Off Spent Photochemicals at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This brochure is for homeowners, and do-it-yourself remodelers who have access to residential household hazardous waste disposal programs.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Pocket Seafood Selector guide to choosing fish that are both eco-friendly and healthy to eat
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Because storm drains flow directly to local creeks and San Francisco Bay with no treatment, chemicals and copper found in pool water can threaten aquatic life. Even small amounts of chemicals can be detrimental to our creeks and Bay.
Revision Date: 5/6/2014
In winter, fireplaces and wood-stoves generate 40 percent of the Bay Area’s particulate air pollution.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Research shows significant correlations between exposure to woodsmoke and a wide variety of respiratory ailments and lung cancer.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Woodsmoke is an important source of dioxins and other toxic compounds. Wood-smoke contributes 39 percent of dioxin air emissions in the Bay Area.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Industrial Waste Pollution Prevention Publications
In 1990 an Ordinance revision was adopted for the cities within the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) service area requiring the preparation of Waste Minimization (now called "Pollution Prevention") Plans.
In 1990, Peninsula Plating Works was awarded special recognition from the RWQCP for completely eliminating its discharge to the sewer. This was accomplished by modifying plating rinse procedures.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
On January 29, 1995 (Superbowl Sunday), the Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) experienced the highest 24-hour average influent copper concentration in recent history, 415 parts per billion (ppb), five times normal levels.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In November 1995, the cyanide in the Regional Water Quality Control Plant’s discharge to San Francisco Bay increased dramatically from typical values of 3 to 4 parts per billion (ppb) to as high as 40 ppb.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Discharge limits and detection levels of wastewater pollutants
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In 1990 an Ordinance revision was adopted for the cities within the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) service area requiring the preparation of Waste Minimization (now called "Pollution Prevention") Plans.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In 1989, the Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) began implementing enforcement procedures designed to impose monetary penalties. Enforcement since, has resulted in compliance agreements with industries that violated their discharge limits.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Ordinance provisions became effective in January 1995 that affect businesses and institutions discharging wastewater to the sewer or to the storm drain system. The provisions clarify that the discharge of contaminated water to the storm drain system is not allowed.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Watkins-Johnson Company eliminated its process discharge to the sewer from its Building 1 metal finishing operations in May 1993. Watkins-Johnson now treats and reuses the wastewater generated from its plating operations.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Communications & Power Industries (CPI) has recently implemented pollution prevention projects to reduce its copper discharge and comply with sewer discharge requirements for metal finishers in the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) service area.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In 1995, the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) adopted sewer use ordinance provisions that require metal finishing industries to implement pollution prevention.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Specific Plating has dramatically reduced its sewer discharges of copper and nickel. The company’s pollution prevention efforts include both modifications of industrial processes and improved waste handling and treatment techniques.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In recent years, the City of Palo Alto has coordinated with local government agencies and environmental groups to develop specific control measures to help reduce pollutants in storm water runoff.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In 1994, the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) entered an agreement with a printed circuit board facility, Davila International Circuits (DICI), to perform a pollution prevention demonstration project.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In 1994, the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) entered an agreement with the printed circuit board facility TechniTron, Inc. to perform a pollution prevention demonstration project.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This Fact Sheet is one of six that summarize the findings from pollution prevention reviews conducted by the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). This Fact Sheet summarizes the pollution prevention review of Davila International Circuits, Inc. in Mountain View, California.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This Fact Sheet is one of six that summarize the findings from pollution prevention reviews conducted by the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). This Fact Sheet summarizes the pollution prevention review of Electrite Company, Inc. in East Palo Alto, California.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This Fact Sheet is one of six that summarize the findings from pollution prevention reviews conducted by the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). This Fact Sheet summarizes the pollution prevention review of Martex Circuits, Incorporated in Mountain View, California.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This Fact Sheet is one of six that summarize the findings from pollution prevention reviews conducted by the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). This Fact Sheet summarizes the pollution prevention review of Specific Plating Company in Palo Alto, California.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This Fact Sheet is one of six that summarize the findings from pollution prevention reviews conducted by the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). This Fact Sheet summarizes the pollution prevention review of Symtron Corporation in Mountain View, California.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This Fact Sheet is one of six that summarize the findings from pollution prevention reviews conducted by the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). This Fact Sheet summarizes the pollution prevention review of Technitron, Inc. in Mountain View, California.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Because the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) does not meet its new copper and nickel discharge standards, it is exploring all feasible methods of reducing its metals discharge to San Francisco Bay. To date, area industry has made tremendous pollutant discharge reduction efforts.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
On the afternoon of September 17, 1996, the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) hosted a workshop called “Successful Pollution Prevention” that highlighted the outstanding efforts of several local metal finishers and printed circuit board manufacturers that implemented pollution prevention projects at their facilities.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a satellite manufacturer located in the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) service area, has implemented a pollution prevention project that reduced its total wastewater discharge by more than 90%, and its copper discharge by 97%.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Ramlor, Inc. has successfully eliminated its discharge of wastewater to the sewer. The company’s pollution prevention efforts include spray rinsing and recycling of treated rinsewater.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Watkins-Johnson’s Building 5 wastewater treatment system began processing waste water in February 1994. In April 1996, Watkins-Johnson Company began to use the treatment system to recycle a large fraction of its process waters from its Building 5 semiconductor fabrication operations.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Martex Circuits Corporation (Martex) has reduced its sewer discharges of copper and nickel. The company has used a sand filter and better treatment chemicals to improve waste handling and treatment techniques.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Mercury Pollution Prevention Publications
The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board has listed all segments of San Francisco Bay as impaired due to mercury pollution based on exceedance of the Basin Plan numeric objective for mercury in water (0.025ppb), and that fish consumed from San Francisco Bay have mercury levels that may threaten human health.
To eliminate the use of mercury and its subsequent release to the environment., the City will evaluate pollution prevention opportunities to eliminate mercury and dioxin sources from municipal, commercial, industrial and residential activities.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The RWQCP initiated a recycling program for these bulbs in conjunction with five local hardware stores and a local fluorescent lamp recycler. Residents simply drop off expired T-8, T-12, tube, compact or U-shaped tubes which are stored in barrels provided by the recycler.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
By using more energy efficient lighting and recycling old bulbs, businesses and residents will save energy and help reduce air and water pollution.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Because adopting a mercury reduction policy could affect future purchases of mercury-containing items, this memorandum identifies mercury-containing items that Palo Alto may be buying.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Since 1997 the RWQCP has estimated the relative amounts of mercury from laboratories, hospitals, dental offices, human waste, food waste, industrial processes, stormwater inflow, and miscellaneous other activities. This quantification has been based upon local monitoring data, studies by other wastewater treatment plants, and the scientific literature.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board has listed all segments of San Francisco Bay as impaired due to mercury pollution.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Over the past few years, the RWQCP has put in place several programs that reduce sources of mercury discharges. Among them are a program to reduce the use of mercury thermometers; best management practices for hospitals and other medical facilities, laboratories and pottery studios; and distribution of a guide to installing graywater systems.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Mercury Sources and Alternatives in Health Care SOURCE: Adapted from “Mercury reduction in the health care section” The list contains some common sources of mercury in health care and general information about alternatives. More detailed information on select alternative products can be found in the alternative product section.
Revision Date: 7/25/2007
Informational Brochure about Mercury
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Don't use PVC use these instead...
Revision Date: 7/26/2007
Significant mercury sources are found in household items like fluorescent lights, thermometers, and thermostats. You can help keep mercury out of the Bay by recycling burned-out fluorescent lights.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Eliminating unnecessary mercury sources, such as specific consumer products, is a critical task because of increasingly stringent mercury discharge limits for wastewater treatment plants.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Pesticide Pollution Prevention Publications
In 2001, the City of Palo Alto adopted a reduced-risk pest management policy and drafted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan for the use of pesticides by City staff and contractors. The goal is to minimize pesticide use and utilize only the least toxic chemicals to accomplish essential tasks. This is to be achieved through an annual quantification of the City's pesticide use and continual improvement of pest control strategies.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Revision Date: 6/7/2007
City of Palo Alto Pesticide Use Plans and Reports
In 2001, the City of Palo Alto adopted a reduced-risk pest management policy, and drafted a plan for the use of pesticides by City staff and City contractors in order to minimize pesticide use and utilize only the least toxic chemicals to accomplish essential tasks.
The results presented in this second annual report demonstrate significant staff efforts to respond to information and goals provided in the 2001 Annual Report (published in July 2002).
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Report summarizing the pesticide application practices within the City of Palo Alto.
Revision Date: 4/22/2009
Summary of the pesticides applied at City facilities in 2009.
Revision Date: 3/18/2010
Integrated pest management (IPM), also known as reduced-risk pest management, encourages long term pest prevention and suppression through a combination of techniques.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Integrated pest management (IPM), also known as reduced-risk pest management, encourages long-term pest prevention and suppression through a combination of techniques.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
The City will ensure that general staff and staff who are responsible for pest control will adhere to both the City-wide and division specific pesticide plan and procedure requirements.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Controlling Pests At Home Factsheets
One way to encourage visiting beneficials to be permanent pest patrollers is to grow flowers that are good producers of nectar and pollen; with your help they’ll have food when pest populations decline.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
The Argentine ant is a frequent invader in California homes. Although they can be pests, ants provide an ecological cleansing and fertilization service of considerable importance. For
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Most plants can tolerate low to moderate numbers of aphids without noticeable damage. On some plants, however, large numbers of aphids can distort foliage and flowers and stunt plant growth.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Amazing as it seems, our pest snails were originally imported from France for culinary purposes. Unfortunately, they escaped to become a major garden and agricultural problem.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
With their potent sting, yellowjackets can be menacing creatures when it comes to a showdown over the picnic table. Few people are aware that yellowjackets are voracious predators of insect pests such as caterpillars and flies.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
If you want or need to hire a professional pest control service, look for a company that offers less toxic pest control or Integrated Pest Management.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
A healthy garden filled with a wide variety of flowering plants will be more resistant to significant pest damage.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
It is unrealistic to think that we can have a garden or a lawn that is entirely weed free. If you really want to solve your weed problem, you will need to spend some time, have some patience, and expend some effort.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Although cockroaches are useful outdoors, where they help recycle plant and animal wastes, they are not welcome indoors.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
The flea most commonly found in and around the home is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Flea bites cause irritation, but also serious allergies in some animals and humans.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Mosquitoes are delicious food for fish and other aquatic creatures, but their buzzing and itchy bites make them a great annoyance to people.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Spiders are beneficial creatures. Because they feed on large quantities of insects, they should be tolerated as much as possible in the home and garden.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Evidence shows that a growing number of commonly purchased and applied pesticides can be harmful to both people and the environment.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Evidence shows that a growing number of commonly purchased and applied pesticides can be harmful to both people and the environment. Part of the problem is the toxicity of the pesticides themselves, but an even greater factor is the sheer volume of pesticides people use, which ends up in our water, air, and soil.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Lawns can look beautiful without using pesticides and fertilizers that may contribute to water quality problems in a local creek, the Bay or Delta.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Even when applied according to label directions, pesticides make their way into our waterways, air, rain and fog.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
To grow beautiful roses, you don't need to use pesticides and fungicides that may contribute to local water quality problems.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Pesticide Information
This product list is intended to help stores participating in the "Our Water, Our World" promotion to stock less-toxic products that are compatible with Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Diazinon is one of the most commonly used pesticides in California. In 1995, toxicity testing conducted by Alameda County (a San Francisco Bay area county) linked diazinon to toxicity in Bay Area creeks.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Diazinon is one of the most commonly used pesticides in California. In the past few years, diazinon has been found in surface water, wastewater, rain and fog in concentrations toxic to indicator species, and sampling data collected to date suggest that toxicity problems are widespread in urban areas.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
On June 8, 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an agreement with pesticide manufacturers that will remove chlorpyrifos, a commonly used insecticide (also sold as Dursban or Lorsban) from retail sale and most residential and professional uses by the end of 2001.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
This document is intended to supplement the RWQCP’s primary pollution prevention plan, the Clean Bay Plan. During the RWQCP’s annual pollution prevention planning process, the RWQCP will also consider implementing actions identified in this report as “strategies for further consideration.”
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) conducted this study to investigate potential sources of organochlorine pesticides in the plant’s influent.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
One of the top ten most used herbicides in the U.S. is 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D), which is derived from 2,4-dichlorophenol. Because of the use of 2,4-dichlorophenol to make 2,4-D, it contains traces of dioxin.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Studies by a variety of agencies suggest that copper-based root control agents can contribute 5 to 12 percent of the total quantity of copper received by a wastewater treatment plant. Analyses by the RWQCP suggest that only a few users of tri-butyl tin cooling water additives can cause the RWQCP's effluent to exceed the tri-butyl tin standard.
Revision Date: 6/6/2006
Pollution Prevention Reports
Watershed Protection Pollution Prevention Reports
Revision Date: 3/7/2011
Revision Date: 2/29/2012
Revision Date: 3/18/2014
Revision Date: 4/30/2014
Source Control and Identification
The work plan is divided into two parts: 1. Advanced dental office source control, 2. Mercury use investigation at the RWQCP
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Provision 4 of the RWQCP’s August 2003 Discharge Order requires that the RWQCP partners achieve further mercury reductions by developing and implementing an Advanced Mercury Source Control Study.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In response to regional concerns about dioxin emissions, the Environmental Compliance Division is to pursuing the purchase of process-chlorine free (PCF) paper for City wide use.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
While the Regional Water Quality Control Plant removes about 90 percent of the copper that enters the plant, the remaining portion that reaches the Bay significantly exceeds regulatory standards. The plant can only meet its discharge limits if industry, commercial establishments, and residents reduce the amount of copper they release into the sewer.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Copper, zinc, chrome, and tributyltin can be found in the discharge from some cooling water systems. The Regional Water Quality Control Plant is working to reduce the discharge of all of these metals to the sanitary sewer and the storm drain system.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In 1993, the RWQCP implemented a program for laboratories. About 100 laboratories in the area conduct chemistry, biotechnology, medical, engineering, and semiconductor research and development.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Bioaccumulation of mercury produces relatively high concentrations of mercury in higher organisms, such as fish. Human exposure to mercury affects the brain, spinal cord, kidneys, and liver, and interferes with normal fetal development. In humans, elevated mercury levels can cause mental and physical retardation.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In August 1995, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) reissued the second 5-year NPDES permit to the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program. One of the permit provisions required the Program to develop a Revised Metals Control Measures Plan to reduce copper and other metals in storm water.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) releases polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to the San Francisco Bay through its treated effluent and could potentially release them to soil if sludge management practices change.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) conducted this study to investigate sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the plant’s influent. PCBs arrive at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant from stormwater inflow, landfills, hazardous waste management, human waste, and food waste. The sources of these PCBs are materials and equipment manufactured prior to 1977, when the manufacture of PCBs ceased.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This edition presents the status of copper discharge reduction projects at metal finishing shops and circuit board manufacturers as of 12/31/98, 30 months after the enactment of the new sewer ordinance that established copper discharge limits for these firms.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
It’s Federal Law - Urban stormwater runoff is a significant source of pollution to the nation’s waters. In 1987 Congress began to address this problem by requiring municipalities with storm drain systems to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Many natural resources are saved each year due to Palo Alto’s switch to process chlorine free copy paper.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are commonly used flame-retardants that are now ubiquitous environmental contaminants. Wastewater treatment plants are one source of PBDEs to the environment through their discharge of treated effluent and land application of sewage sludge.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
In order to become a Clean Bay Business, each facility must comply with all ordinance requirements to prevent pollutant discharges to sewers and storm drains.
Revision Date: 6/8/2006
The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) conducted this study to investigate sources of zinc in the plant’s influent. Although zinc is relatively nontoxic to humans, its ecological effects are of greater concern.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Stormwater Reports
Annual reports for stormwater management
Technical Memorandum
In 1997, the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) prepared a study identifying sources of dioxins and a Dioxins Pollution Prevention Plan to reduce the amount of dioxins entering the plant in wastewater
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Wood preservatives are used to protect wood against rot and infestation. Pentachlorophenol (also known as “penta” or “PCP”) is a common wood preservative that contains traces of polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (referred to collectively as “dioxin”).
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Available data show that exhaust from the combustion of diesel fuel contains dioxin. This memorandum summarizes available information about dioxin in diesel fuel exhaust.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This memorandum reviews some environmental concerns regarding the production, use, and disposal of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and explores potential alternatives to its use. PVC is a common plastic often referred to as “vinyl.”
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Dioxins are believed to be present in at least some tires as a result of the use of chloranil during the manufacturing process. The attached calculations estimate the upper range of the potential dioxin concentration in tires.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This mercury reduction menu is intended to help water agencies better understand the options that exist to reduce mercury discharges. It focuses on mercury reduction programs that have been implemented by water agencies and others, and includes some ideas for programs that have not yet been tried.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
This technical memorandum updates the Mercury Source Identification prepared for the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) in August 1997 to better estimate the load attributable to mercury discharges from dental offices (EIP Associates 1997).
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
The objective of this study was to characterize typical plant mass transfer of mercury (Hg) across the treatment plant and incinerator mass balance “boundaries” (see Figure 1), as well as account for all known significant mass flows in and out of the mass balance boundaries.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of compounds that bioaccumulate in the food web and are considered potential endocrine disruptors. An endocrine disruptor is a compound that that can interfere with the normal hormone function in humans and animals that controls metabolism, growth and reproduction.
Revision Date: 6/14/2006
Vehicle Pollution Prevention Publications
In order to reduce pollution from vehicle service facilities, the Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) developed a Clean Bay Business Program to recognize vehicle service facilities that proactively reduce discharge of water pollutants to sewers and storm drains in compliance with ordinance requirements.
The vehicle service facilities program involves education and positive incentives, combined with enforcement, to encourage shops to reduce pollution and achieve compliance.
Revision Date: 6/8/2006
Many brake pads contain copper, and they contribute more than half of the copper in urban runoff. The Brake Pad Partnership is pursuing legislation to phase out copper use in brake pads.
Revision Date: 10/1/2009
Dirty, soapy water is on its way to the nearest creek when you wash your car on the street— or in a driveway that slopes to the gutter. Even biodegradable soap is initially harmful to creek life!
Revision Date: 6/8/2006
More than 98% of vehicle service facilities in our communities are making special efforts to protect local creeks and San Francisco Bay
Revision Date: 7/16/2012
List of Clean Bay Business auto parts stores
Revision Date: 6/7/2007
List of pharmacies, hardware stores, and garden centers that participate in the Clean Bay Business Program
Revision Date: 6/7/2007
This report describes the approach and findings of an investigation to evaluate the contribution of heavy metals to storm water by disc brake pad wear. The purpose of the study was to measure metal concentrations in disc brakes, and to estimate the pollutant load contributed by brake pad wear to storm water in Santa Clara Valley.
Revision Date: 10/12/1994
What you can do about protecting the environment from vehicle home repairs
Revision Date: 6/8/2006
The Clean Bay Business Program provides vehicle service facilities with positive incentives
Revision Date: 6/8/2006
As part of the effort to reduce pollution from vehicle service facilities, the Regional Water Quality Control Plant developed the Vehicle Service Facility Waste Minimization Program, combining increased regulation, education, and positive incentives to encourage pollution prevention.
Revision Date: 6/8/2006
Perchloroethylene is a significant contributor to cancer risk imposed by wastewater treatment plants on communities surrounding the plants. One notable source is engine degreaser. (Tri-TAC Presentation)
Revision Date: 6/14/2006